I read the most ridiculous story in the New York Daily News yesterday. New York State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens) wants to ban the sale and possession of machetes in New York. The move is in response to a murder in July in which a machete was used as the murder weapon.
The sale of machetes should be outlawed after several recent attacks, a Queens pol said Wednesday.Avella's bill, Senate Bill 3199-2015, would add machetes to the list of deadly weapons. This puts them in the same category as firearms, switchblades, gravity knives, brass knuckles, and the "pilum ballistic knife". He claims in the justification that it will allow those who use a machete as a weapon will be charged appropriately. Does it really make that much difference if a person uses a "deadly weapon" as opposed to a "dangerous weapon" when they commit a crime?
State Sen. Tony Avella plans to introduce a bill to ban the possession of the scary blades in New York.
“The fact that anyone can easily purchase this potentially lethal tool is just crazy,” he said.
Smaller knives such as switchblades and gravity knives are already banned and listed as deadly weapons under state law, but machetes are considered the same as butcher knives.
According to the Daily News this legislation would mean mere possession of a machete could land you in prison for a year.
It is obvious that Sen. Avella is a nanny stater playing to the media with this proposal. Given New York State's ethnic diversity I'm a bit surprised that he didn't make reference to Rwanda and the desire to avoid a genocide as machetes were the weapon of choice of the Hutu against the Tutsi. Or, better yet, to give this a New York context, the Sharks versus the Jets a'la West Side Story. Just substitute machete for switchblade.
Machetes are a tool. I have many of them in various forms, shapes, and sizes. My favorite is one that I inherited from my dad. It is a bolo style machete that I think he picked up in the Caribbean during WWII when he served in the Caribbean Defense Command. The sheath is nicely tooled leather with a pistol belt hook attachment.
This bill is a joke just like its sponsor. Both should be consigned to the dustbin of history. Whether that happens or not only time and public disgust will tell.